Hi again! Another sprint is over, and with the team firing on all cylinders (minus the brain cycles lost to newborn-induced sleep deprevation), we have yet another release with new features to show you more about your competitive landscape.
Making Use of Data and Paying Down Debt
During this sprint, we decided to fight the development war on two fronts: displaying more data to users and technical infrastructure. On the data front, we’ve been unhappy with how our dashboards (don’t) convey much information for customers who aren’t present on any particular marketing channel. We’re happy to report that we’ve made good progress for customers in this position (details below).
Additionally, to avoid the recent fate of the U.K. (and the less recent fate of the U.S., France, and others) by having our future outlook diminished, we decided to put cycles against our technical debt during this sprint. As we’ve added more users to Rival IQ, we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of work our systems do on a nightly basis to ingest data, screenshot websites, and summarize this information for your consumption. Many parts of these systems date to the original Rival IQ days (March 2012), and needed some attention to keep their operation from being a distraction.
Here are the full details of what we came up with for the newest version of Rival IQ :
- Landscape summary in dashboards. Until now, if your focus company in Rival IQ did not have a presence on a particular marketing channel, your dashboard information for that channel was completely devoid of information. You could get to the information if you knew the magical Rival IQ dance, but since we’re aiming to save you time, it is safe to say that there was room for improvement. Now, if you are focusing on a company that isn’t present on a channel, your dashboard will summarize the presence and activity of your competitors on that channel, enabling you to quickly ascertain if your competitors are gaining an edge on you by marketing in channels you’re not. See screenshots below.
- More complete information in Analyze. In a similar situation to your dashboard, if a competitor was not present on a channel, the charts you viewed in Analyze would simply exclude that company. This led to confusion, at best, and prevented you from getting a true picture about the true activity of your competitors. Now, you’ll find that we include and clearly label missing channels and data for all of your competitors in our Analyze charts.
- Infrastructure and paying down technical debt. Geek out alert, you can skip this next paragraph if you don’t get down on the engineering details. This sprint, we worked to increase our screenshotting capacity by upgrading to phantomjs 1.8.1, trying out AWS’s new second-generation instances in EC2, and getting up to date on our nodejs installation. Additionally, we upgraded our work queue infrastructure to be simpler to operate and more resilient to failures (man, the internets fail in strange ways). Three cheers for SethP on this one. Cheer. Cheer. Cheer!
Here is what our new dashboard tiles look like for companies that are not present on any given channel:
What’s next at Rival IQ?
As we’ve said before, there is certainly a lot that we could be working on over the next couple of months. We continue to look toward adding additional channels to Rival IQ, and we keep growing our list with all the ideas you folks are putting out there. Top among them include improvements to how we display, filter, and track changes to web pages in your account; the addition of aggregate statisics and insights about the content production of your competitors; and access to more summarized information that will save you from that magical Rival IQ dance I mentioned previously.
Help?! And thanks!
We continue to grow and evolve our vision of how Rival IQ can help you market better. Your feedback and input really does make a difference, so please don’t hesitate to email us or use our in-app messaging to let us know how to improve things for you.
And last but not least, thanks to the folks that gave us some feedback love during the last couple of weeks. We love you: MattH, AdamS, JasonH, PaulineR, JasonK, MattL, RussellB, ToddS, BenW, DavidC, CarlosS, WilM, DavidZ, DavidN, EricC, and AdamL. Now we just have to get to getting your suggestions parsed and injected (in some way) into Rival IQ.
Thank you for your continued support.
The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, and Doc